Shop wins bid to sell alcohol despite residents’ worries

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A SPAR shop in Portsmouth has won its fight to sell alcohol at a former pub that was stripped of its licence because of violent behaviour.

The city council’s licensing committee has paved the way for the shop to serve drink from 6am until just before midnight daily on the site of the old Tangier pub in Baffins.

Despite concerns that it would stir up past troubles, committee members were satisfied with the plans because the businessman who owns the shop has a good track record.

It was revealed at a meeting in Portsmouth Guildhall over the plans that the applicant Amir Sattari has five other Spar stores in the city, of which four have a licence to sell alcohol until midnight.

Mr Sattari’s solicitor Jon Wallsgrove said there has never been any trouble at the shops.

Councillor Les Stevens, who chaired the meeting, said the decision was definitely the right one.

‘It was a pub, but this is a Spar shop, and the chap running it has got other shops in the city which he has had for years,’ he said.

‘He has never had any trouble in any of them.

‘The police weren’t worried about it.

‘There was no reason to refuse it.’

As reported in The News, the Tangier pub’s licence was revoked in 2012 because of concerns with alcohol-fuelled violence and noise.

One incident involved a woman being glassed and punched repeatedly outside the venue.

Mr Wallsgrove said that while people’s views of alcohol being served in that area had been ‘tainted’ by past experiences, this was a separate application for a shop, not a pub.

Ward councillor Darren Sanders said he had concerns as it would create a precedent since shops locally including Co-op and McColls do not sell alcohol until as late.

In a letter to the council, he said: ‘There is some local concern about the potential for anti-social behaviour of selling alcohol long after other shops have stopped doing so.’

His concerns were backed by Cllr Lynne Stagg.

And a resident of nearby Ascot Road said: ‘We strongly object to this.

‘We already have four outlets in Tangier Road selling alcohol apart from the Baffins Inn. That is more than enough.’